“Mustache Power!” yelled Miguel Riera when he saw me. The native Mallorcan climber has been working on growing out his very own power ‘stache, and it was looking mighty fine. I’d first met Miguel at Clark Mountain, California, during @Chris_Sharma’s campaign to do the FA of Jumbo Love. It was an odd place to meet the native Mallorcan but our paths would cross many times over the years, including when I visited him on his home turf. Standing atop the Diablo Wall, Miguel, always one to make you feel as if you’ve been friends for decades, slapped me on the back and said, laughing: “You are too white! You need some sun.”
Miguel passed away just recently from lung cancer. He was only 56.
In 1978 a teenage Miguel and his friends explored Mallorca for bouldering potential. Miguel’s passion for movement, flow, and difficulty landed him at the tiny beach-side boulders of Porto Pi. A curious progression then took place. Eventually, they found themselves traversing away the boulders and onto the adjacent cliffs hanging over the Mediterranean Sea. They had jumped off these very cliffs as kids, so why not climb them now? The “boulder problems” got bigger and more exciting.
What Miguel et al had discovered was a bridge between bouldering and route climbing—between a bit of risk and pure gymnastic difficulty. Ultimately, they created a new discipline in climbing: deep-water soloing.
Over the next two decades, Miguel raved about psicobloc to anyone who’d listen, but most climbers were preoccupied with other forms of ascent then in vogue. It wasn’t really until 2001 that deep-water soloing got the attention it deserved.
A deep-water soloing trip to Mallorca is something that every climber can and should do. It’s on par with bucket list adventures like climbing the Nose of El Cap. Mandatary experience.
If you’ve ever taken a trip here and felt yourself wild-eyed, heart-racing, fully alive and present above the walloping waves of the Mediterranean, take a moment to think of Miguel today for you likely wouldn’t have had that experience without him.
What a legend, what a loss. All my condolences to his friends who loved him dearly.
The post Miguel Riera, Padre de Psicobloc, Dies of Cancer appeared first on Evening Sends.
Originally posted 2019-10-10 20:37:09.